The 10 Best Bars In Old Port, Marseille

| © Gilles Paire / Shutterstock.com
Laura Broomhead

Marseille‘s Old Port has been a hub of activity in France‘s second largest city for thousands of years. From Ancient Greek antiquity to the Middle Ages, the Vieux Port was often the first stop off on French soil after the Mediterranean sea. Today, the area is just as bustling as ever and is filled with bars, restaurants and shopping opportunities. Here, we count down the top 10 bars to grab a drink once the sun has set.

1. Le Café Des Épices

Restaurant, Bistro, Caribbean, French, Mediterranean

Marseille Old Port
© Ingo Mehling/WikiCommons
Le Café des Épices is located behind Marseille’s town hall, just a two minutes’ walk away from the Vieux Port. Most come here to sample the lunch and dinner menus, but the chic, stylish décor of the typically French bistro is just as accommodating for those looking to enjoy a drink with friends. If you’re lucky enough to be in Marseille for the summer months, head to Le Café des Épices’ ‘soirées sous les oliviers’, when hordes of Marseille locals sit out on the café’s terrace to make the most of the balmy Mediterranean evenings.

2. La Caravelle

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, French

Calamari Rings
©avlxyz/Flickr
La Caravelle is a bar and restaurant which offers one of the best views of Marseille’s Vieux Port. The huge window which stretches across the width of the restaurant allows spectacular views of the port, which is particularly beautiful as the sun is setting. The friendly first floor bar is open from early in the morning until late at night and welcomes tourists and locals of all ages and from all walks of life. One of the oldest bars in Marseille, La Caravelle has been entertaining the people of Marseille for generations and today is known for its hugely popular jazz nights.

3. Le Vieux Port

Bar, Market, Restaurant, French, Seafood

Just behind the Quai des Belges, famous for its early morning fish market, you’ll find the bar and restaurant Le Vieux Port. The central location of this Marseille bar means that here you’ll always find a lively atmosphere in which to enjoy a pre-meal apéro of Pastis, Marseille’s famous (and divisive) aniseed-flavored drink. The location is also great thanks to its proximity to the Old Port itself. From the tables and chairs of Le Vieux Port you’ll be able to spot the old fishing boats and high-end yachts that come to dock in Marseille’s picturesque harbor.

5. Little Temple Bar

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub

If you’ve already had your fill of typical French-style brasseries and are looking for something a little different, give Little Temple Bar a try. The bar is a little piece of Ireland on French soil, and the Old Port itself is visible from the tables (which are, in actual fact, old beer barrels) and chairs that are set up just outside of the cozy Irish pub. Inside, the décor is what you would expect from a classic Irish pub, with comfortable sofas, high bar stools and lots of dark wood. There’s a large choice of wines, spirits and soft drinks but, here, a pint of Guinness is almost obligatory.

6. Bar De La Marine

Bar, Brasserie, Pub Grub, French

Aperitif
© AngeloAmboldi/Flickr
Just around the corner from the Little Temple Bar and facing the beautiful Old Port itself is Bar de la Marine. The ideally located French brasserie is something of a Marseille institution and has been welcoming patrons for generations. The plentiful tables and chairs set up on the huge outdoor terrace reach almost to the water’s edge, but when the temperature drops, the bar’s interior is just as pleasant a spot to enjoy a hot or cold drink with friends. The décor of the two floors is warm and cozy and filled with eclectic knick-knacks for you to peruse at your leisure.

7. Paulette

Bar, Restaurant, French

Marseille’s Old Port by night
© Cyril/Flickr
On the opposite side of the port to the Bar de la Marine but offering views no less stunning is Paulette, a restaurant serving regional dishes which is also great for a drink with friends and family. Admire the many boats which dock at Marseille’s Old Port and the beautiful hill-top Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica from the very comfort of your table while sipping on a glass of wine or one of Paulette’s cocktails. If you’re feeling hungry, make sure to sample something from Paulette’s menu, all produce is fresh and locally sourced and the chefs specialize in making delicious, regional specialties.

8. O'Malley's

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub

O’Malley’s is another of Marseille’s Irish bars and, since it’s just around the corner from Little Temple Bar, you can expect some friendly competition between the two. O’Malley’s also serves Guinness, as all good Irish bars should, but the large and varied selection of high quality whiskies is what really makes O’Malley’s worth the visit. The bar itself is warm and cozy and the welcome from the staff is always friendly. Come for Happy Hour and keep an eye out for the live music nights that O’Malley’s hosts.

9. La Part Des Anges

Wine Bar, Bar, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub, French

Bacon Cheeseburger with Tater Tots
©jeffreyw/Flickr
This wine bar is a must visit for any budding wine connoisseurs. The three friends who own and run La Part des Anges select each of their wines themselves and have a great respect for the whole process of wine making, from vineyard to bottle to bar. They believe everyone should have access to high quality wine. La Part des Anges also has a small selection of dishes available, which change from one month to the next. The wines, which come from vineyards all over France including the regions around Marseille, go superbly alongside the mains.

10. L'OM Café

Brasserie, Market, French, Vegetarian, Vegan

LOM Café, Marseille
© Africa Studio / Shutterstock
The Quai des Belges in Marseille’s Old Port is known for hosting the daily, early morning fish market, the best place in the city to get the daily catch. The eastern side of Marseille’s harbor is also home to l’OM Café, a great place to spend an afternoon or evening overlooking the port in the company of friends and family. Wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks are all on the menu and the friendly staff will make you feel right at home. The brasserie-style bar, dedicated to the city’s football club, also does food, so be sure to sample one of the wholesome, home-cooked dishes while you’re here.
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